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10 Amazing New Animal Species Discovered In 2012

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7. Squat Lobster -Northwest coast of Spain

Image by S. Bernhardt/NOAA

Anew squat lobster calledUroptychus cartesi was recently discovered in the underwater mountains off the northwest coast of Spain. Squat lobsters are more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs than true lobsters.The new type of lobsterbelongs to the Chirostylidae family and is one of the mere four species that live in Europe. Three of them were discovered at the end of the 19th century and the fourth in 1976. Fourteen can be found in the Americas and more than 100 exist in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.The small orange-colored squat lobster usually lives around deep corals and gorgonians and “tends to be abundant in submarine mountains and canyons that have been subject to little fishing,” explains study co-author Enrique Macpherson, who goes on to add that gorgonians and corals are the first to disappear in trawling zones.

8. Bumblebee Gecko -Papua New Guinea

Image by Robert Fisher/Wikimedia Commons

DubbedNactus kunankunan, meaning “bumblebee” in the local Nali language, the black-and-gold striped animal found on Manus Island belongs to a genus of slender-toed geckos.That means “these guys don’t have the padded, wall-climbing toes like the common house gecko or the day gecko in the car-insurance commercials,” study co-author Robert Fisher, a biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center in San Diego, said in a statement.It’s unknown how many of the roughly 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) geckos exist, or if the species is threatened, according to the study.

9. Red-Breasted Barbet – Andes Mountains

Image via Cornell University

Capito fitzpatricki is a new bird species discovered by threeyoung ornithologists who had recently graduated from Cornell. While commonly known as the Sira Barbet,the team chose the scientific name, Capito fitzpatricki, in honor of Cornell Lab of Ornithology executive director John W. Fitzpatrick, who discovered and named seven new bird species in Peru during the 1970s and ’80s.The team discovered the barbet on a ridge of mountainous cloud forest in the Cerros del Sira range in the eastern Andes.

10. Obama-fish

Five new species of colorful, freshwater fish called darters have been discovered in river drainages in eastern North America and named after four presidents and a vice president. Darters are the smallest members of the perch family, and are named after their ability to zip around, under and into rocks and sediment on the beds of clean, fast-moving waterways. Newly re-elected President Obama was one of the lucky leaders to have a darter named after him.The spangled darter a 2-inch Tennessee native whose males have vivid orange, blue and green scales will be Etheostoma obama from now on.

Related Reading:

Endangered Species Act Ignoring Hundreds of Animals

75 Percent of Ocean Creatures Yet To Be Discovered

6 Problems Caused By Shrinking Biodiversity

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8:33PM PST on Mar 2, 2013


7:35AM PST on Mar 1, 2013

the Obama fish is beautiful. Awesome discoveries! thanks

3:10PM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Some very interesting new creatures. I hope they survive the climate change that is caused by us humans.

5:38PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Thank you Beth, for Sharing this!

7:02PM PST on Jan 10, 2013


1:12PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

I agree with JOY, new creatures or newly discovered! They are there we just need to find them.

6:33AM PST on Dec 31, 2012


7:47AM PST on Dec 30, 2012

New creatures or newly discovered?

12:00PM PST on Dec 29, 2012

Very interesting. Tks!

6:27AM PST on Dec 29, 2012

Interesting, thanks.

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